GFM Network News


A poor canola crop can be used for feed

Salvage canola crops can make good cattle feed, says a provincial beef and forage specialist. “With dry conditions in the northern and southern parts of the province, late seeding and hailstorms in others, some canola crops could be candidates for salvaging and used for cattle feed,” said Barry Yaremcio. Canola plants in full bloom to […] Read more

Tips for dealing with greenfeed that saw snow before harvest

Heating can greatly lower the feed value, moulds will reduce digestibility, and the potential for nitrites is higher

Greenfeed that saw snow before being harvested this year presents some extra challenges when feeding. Bales containing 18 to 20 per cent moisture (or higher) have the potential to heat, and some of the sugars will be used by the microbes during the heating process, said provincial forage specialist Barry Yaremcio. “This will reduce the […] Read more


Nitrate buildup a threat after a light frost

When this happens you need to either harvest quickly or wait for nitrate levels to subside

Nitrate accumulation can become a problem when crops experience light frosts of -1 C to -2 C for even only a few hours during the night. These conditions damage the leaves of the plants, but not the roots. Over the next three to four days, the roots continue to send nutrients up the plant, and […] Read more

Unlike swathed fields, nitrate levels in hailed-out crops can continue to rise and that increases 
the risk of nitrate poisoning.

If you’re going to feed hail-damaged crop to livestock, test it first

Doing a feed test ‘is much cheaper than losing an animal,’ says beef extension specialist

Hail damage this summer is approaching an all-time high — and with many producers putting livestock on their ruined fields, the risk of nitrate poisoning is also shooting up. So be sure to do a feed test first, said a beef extension specialist with Alberta Agriculture and Forestry. “A feed test is much cheaper than […] Read more


Salvaging hail-damaged crops

Tests recommended to ensure there is no possibility of nitrate poisoning

Storm damage to crops can result in problems with nitrate accumulations, especially if the crops were heavily fertilized or manured in the spring to optimize yield. “With volatile weather comes storm damage and, for some producers, this means salvaging crops for feed,” says Andrea Hanson, beef extension specialist, Alberta Agriculture and Forestry, Airdrie. Hanson cautions […] Read more